Half-Baked Hall: 1984

Stan Musial breezes in with 100% of the vote.

Early Wynn gets 31% but drops off.  Gil Hodges pulls down one vote.  Frankie Frisch buddy Red Schoendeinst deservedly gets shut out.


What do you think about impeachment?

  • Joe Morgan (50%, 8 Votes)
  • Jim Palmer (50%, 8 Votes)
  • Amos Otis (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ken Singleton (0%, 0 Votes)
  • None Of Them! (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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11 thoughts on “Half-Baked Hall: 1984”

  1. Joe Morgan gets my vote, but only if his plaque reads “Joe Morgan the player displayed the kind of brilliance on the field that Joe Morgan the broadcaster was not merely incapable of appreciating, but fond of ridiculing when other players with similar brilliance were pointed out to him."

  2. Baseball Reference assigns three quasi-contemporaneous center fielders — Cesar Cedeño, Devon White, Gary Matthews, & Chet Lemon — within Amos Otis’ top four similar batters. (Gary Matthews, Sr. is the odd man out.) Unfortunately for Otis, Cedeño, White, & Lemon all accumulated at least an All-Star season’s worth of rWAR more than A.O.. Cedeño has the best offensive resume of the group, while White’s primary value comes from his glove. Lemon & Otis are neck-and-neck in offensive value (Lemon’s comes exclusive from his bat, while Otis’ baserunning contributes a good deal on top of some pretty decent hitting), but Lemon’s superior defense — not as good as Devo’s, but very good all the same — and Otis’ comparatively brutal fielding separate them.

    CF Active Rbat Rbaser Rfield rWAR JAWS
    Cedeño ’70–‘86 224 57 -14 52.8 47.1
    Lemon ’75–‘90 210 -7 93 55.6 46.4
    Otis ’67–‘84 136 42 -34 42.8 37.6
    White ’85–‘01 -8 40 133 47.3 41.4
    1. The nearly similar value between Otis’ bat & White’s glove got me wondering how rare it is to see a center fielder pass 100 runs in each category. The answer is, “Pretty dang rare.”

      Center fielders with 100+ Rbat & 100+ Rfield (min 45% G @ CF):

      CF Rbat Rfield
      Willie Mays 809.1 184.5
      Kenny Lofton 139.8 107.0
      Andruw Jones 119.3 234.7

      Center fielders with 100+ Rbat & 75 Rfield (min 45% G @ CF):

      CF Rbat Rfield
      Mays 809.1 184.5
      Speaker 822.3 92.0
      Lemon 209.9 93.0
      Ashburn 199.1 76.5
      Lofton 139.8 107.0
      A. Jones 119.3 234.7
      Carey 117.1 86.0

      Only 10 center fielders have 100+ Rfield, and only five of them have positive Rbat totals.

      CF Rbat Rfield
      A. Jones 119.3 234.7
      Mays 809.1 184.5
      Piersall -51.4 182.2
      Blair -33.0 174.4
      Cain 37.1 134.0
      White -8.3 133.4
      Kiermeier -8.9 130.0
      W. Wilson -57.1 108.4
      Lofton 139.8 107.0
      W. Davis 43.7 104.1
      1. Considering the error bars on assigning value to fielders from old(er) eras, Speaker and Lemon seem like honorary members of the 100+ group.

        Seeing the gap between Lofton's and Lemon's Rbat got me trying to remember where Lofton got the rest of his value. I had forgotten that he could hit, field, and steal. Lemon played during the golden age of stolen bases and still managed only 58. He for some reason was one of the best fielders but couldn't steal at all. Lofton bested Lemon's career in a single season four times. Lofton was robbed.

        1. I agree that the data becomes more tenuous the further in the past one looks. (I’ve heard some misgivings about Andruw Jones’ early career numbers, too.)

          That said, b-ref reports only 46 center fielders have ever surpassed even 50 Rfield.* With Lemon nearly double that, I think it’s fair to consider him to have been very good, if not verifiably elite. Speaker might be far enough in the past that journalistic accounts of his performance might be our most reliable window onto his performance, but I don’t know enough about how Sean Smith creates Rfield values for players that far back.

          * Trivia for the CoC incoming. Here it is.

  3. Singleton had a nice career. I am happy to see him acknowledged here with a nomination, even if he lacks the counting stats to Garner votes.

    He had over 2,000 hits, 246 HRs, a career 132 OPS+, 3 ASGs and more BBs than Ks.

  4. I'm planning to vote for Palmer, but man I wonder if he'd be a hall-of-famer if he didn't have the defense he had behind him. His SO/BB walk rate is meh, even for the era. But he just never gave up hits, ever. He had the best fielders money could buy for almost his entire career.

    1. Career Opp BA: .227. Career Opp BABIP: .249.
      ERA: 2.86. FIP: 3.50

      Compare to his longtime teammate Dave McNally
      Career Opp BA: .241. BABIP: .263.
      ERA: 3.24. FIP: 3.49.

      Almost identical K:BB ratios ( 5.04:2.99 to McNally's 4.98:2.72) and neither gave up HRs (Palmer's 0.69/9 to McNally's 0.76).

      And yet Palmer generated 56.6 fWAR in 3,848 IP ( 2.94 per 200 innings) to McNally's 33.6 in 2,730 (2.46 per 200 innings). Palmer was slightly better for much longer. Compiler!

      1. How does pitching WAR adjust over time to account for lower usage today by starters?

        Reflecting on Palmer and McNally, it seems important to acknowledge that Palmer was eating 300+ innings per season in his prime, whereas today 200 innings is a badge of sorts.

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